Ok, first off, I will admit that what other reviewers have pointed out is true: there's not much plot progression in this installation -- it's essenti...moreOk, first off, I will admit that what other reviewers have pointed out is true: there's not much plot progression in this installation -- it's essentially a puff piece for Christmas. However, I don't care. I adore Flavia, and while I am very keen to see where this series is leading, this little interim short was a nice read. (Well, a nice listen in my case, since I'm completely addicted to the audio versions, narrated by Jayne Entwistle, who is, by the way, absolutely PERFECT for Flavia.)
I'm still waiting to find out more about Harriet, because I'm SURE there's more coming about her. But in the meantime, we did actually get a bit of plot movement in this book, for all its fluff: we learned a bit about Aunt Felicity's history and got hints at Dogger's background.
Part of me wishes I hadn't discovered these books til ten years from now, so I could just fly through all of them without waiting for each new book to come out. But I didn't, so... I have to wait. *goes off to check when Book #5 comes out*(less)
The first novel in the Dublin Detectives series, and so far probably my second favorite. I really enjoyed the story, but after a while, I started to g...moreThe first novel in the Dublin Detectives series, and so far probably my second favorite. I really enjoyed the story, but after a while, I started to get annoyed with Ryan, the main character. The novel is well written, and the plot is fascinating, but it ultimately turns out to be the story of one man's self-inflicted downward spiral, which gets a bit depressing. (less)
The second, and so far my favorite of the Dublin Detectives novels. This one is Detective Cassie Maddox's story, told from her point of view. And at f...moreThe second, and so far my favorite of the Dublin Detectives novels. This one is Detective Cassie Maddox's story, told from her point of view. And at first, I was a bit put off that this novel wasn't a continuation of Ryan's story, but I soon got over that. It's definitely the weirdest of the novels, and it requires you to suspend disbelief for a while, but it's entirely consuming, and I couldn't put it down. And I was a bit sad at the end when I realized the third book in the series would be about yet another tangential character, as I adored Cassie so much.(less)
The third, and so far my least favorite in the Dublin Detectives series by Tana French. I wanted to like this book so much, having come fresh from lis...moreThe third, and so far my least favorite in the Dublin Detectives series by Tana French. I wanted to like this book so much, having come fresh from listening to The Likeness, but Frank Mackey just didn't draw me in as much as Cassie Maddox did, nor is he as likable a character. This story held my attention, but it's pretty predictable in places.(less)
I wasn't sure how much I was going to enjoy this one when it came out, as it's a Scorcher Kennedy story, and I really disliked him in Faithful Place.....moreI wasn't sure how much I was going to enjoy this one when it came out, as it's a Scorcher Kennedy story, and I really disliked him in Faithful Place... but I didn't find him nearly as distasteful in this book as a lead character as I did in the last as a secondary character.
The book did seem to drag on at times, and the ending was depressing (as all the Tana French books have been), but overall, it was an enjoyable listen. (less)
The first of the Dresden Files books -- a series about a wizard named Harry (no, not that one) -- and a bit of a slow start. I might have given up if...moreThe first of the Dresden Files books -- a series about a wizard named Harry (no, not that one) -- and a bit of a slow start. I might have given up if I hadn't been told how awesome the series becomes once you get into it. It's good, but not great. One redeeming quality was that it (along with the rest of the books in the series) is narrated by James Marsters, who is absolutely perfect for the role.(less)
I was, as with just about everyone else who's working their way through this series via the audio versions, upset that James Marsters wasn't narrating...moreI was, as with just about everyone else who's working their way through this series via the audio versions, upset that James Marsters wasn't narrating this latest book, which was instead narrated by John Glover. I thought about just getting the paper version and reading that instead, but since the reason given for Marster's absence on this book was a scheduling conflict, I have to hope that he'll be returning for future books. Given that, I decided to go ahead and get the audio version so I didn't end up with one single hardcover mid-way through the series.
I was nervous, though, because every review I'd read prior to downloading it was pretty negative. I'll admit -- it was a bit difficult to get used to Glover's voice speaking the words I've gotten so used to hearing from Marsters, but after the first couple of chapters, it got easier. (I will note that if there are ever books written from Butters' point of view, John Glover is the man to go with -- he sounds *exactly* like what I imagine Butters sounds like.)
As far as the novel itself goes, I was pleased, especially since the reviews on that hadn't been entirely positive, either. Many people complained that this was a very "filler" story and could be skipped entirely. I don't agree. It did have some interlude "recap" moments to it, but I think we learned a lot about some of the characters (Mortimer and Molly, for example, and to a lesser extent, Karrin).
Favorite moments in the book include: -- The point at which Dresden says "I'd fallen victim to one of the other classic blunders, along with not getting involved in a land war in Asia and never going in against a Sicilian when death was on the line." -- The fact that Dresden referred to the scary ghosts in town as "Lecter specters."(less)
As far as the Temperance Brennan books go, this was one so-so. I usually love the ones set in NC, since I live here, myself, and I love reading about...moreAs far as the Temperance Brennan books go, this was one so-so. I usually love the ones set in NC, since I live here, myself, and I love reading about local places. This story revolves around a body found in a rusted oil barrel at the landfill next door to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, just prior to a race weekend. Tempe's called in to investigate, and it of course leads to one big mystery after another.
All in all, the story itself is fine. The plot is engaging, and the characters are interesting. I didn't even guess who the perp was prior to the unveiling at the end, which is unusual for me. Perhaps as a stand-alone book, it might have gotten 4 stars, but as part of an ongoing series, it fell a little short.
I was disappointed that we saw so little of other series characters -- we only heard Katy on the phone once or twice, Harry made almost no appearance except via reference, and Ryan, while somewhat present more than latter two, was virtually non-existent in this book, as well. I almost felt like Reichs slipped a conversation with him into the story here and there just to keep her readers somewhat placated. The only series regulars we got to see hide or hair of was Pete and his obnoxious, dim-witted wife-to-be, Summer, and honestly, I could have done without that.
Hopefully the next book will take place in Montreal again. I'm ready for her to be partnered up with Ryan again, if not romantically, at least professionally.(less)
I bought this book on a whim, and I'm so glad I did -- I absolutely adored it. It was whimsical and fast-paced without feeling rushed. The characters...moreI bought this book on a whim, and I'm so glad I did -- I absolutely adored it. It was whimsical and fast-paced without feeling rushed. The characters were all delightful, from the strong-willed Amelia (who I pictured in my mind from the start as a young Katharine Hepburn) to the cantankerous Emerson, to his sweet-tempered brother, Walter, to the mild-mannered and sweet Evelyn. The story was well told, the settings well described, and the narrative completely engaging. I started the next novel in the series immediately upon finishing this one, and I can't wait to read more.
I'm making my way through this series in its audiobook format. The narrator, Barbara Rosenblat, does an excellent job, though I do agree with other reviewers who state that her voice sounds a bit old for that of the 25-year-old Amelia. Still, Amelia doesn't precisely act 25 years old, so I suppose it's fine.(less)
Another delightful read in the Amelia Peabody series. I once again listened to the audio version of this book, narrated by Barbara Rosenblat, and she...moreAnother delightful read in the Amelia Peabody series. I once again listened to the audio version of this book, narrated by Barbara Rosenblat, and she one again did not disappoint. Now that Amelia is a few years older, her voice didn't even seem that incongruous. Her other character voices were also amusing and entertaining, particularly that of the bold Ameican, Cyrus Vandergelt. (less)
I wasn't quite as fond of this one as I had been of the previous two novels in the Amelia Peabody series. I think in large part that had to do with th...moreI wasn't quite as fond of this one as I had been of the previous two novels in the Amelia Peabody series. I think in large part that had to do with the presence of Ramses, Amelia and Emerson's child. The kid is supposed to be -- what? 7 years old in this book? And he's shown to be smarter, more logical, and more methodical than most of his parents' contemporaries. I didn't buy it, and it just came off as unrealistic and annoying.
The plot itself was entertaining, though I felt the ending was a little rushed and ill explained. I also would have loved to know more about the papyrus they found.
5 stars, though, to Barbara Rosenblat, the narrator of this unabridged audio recording. Her voices and accents are brilliant, and a complete joy to listen to. :)(less)
I listened to the audio versions of these, narrated by Katherine Kellgren, who did a fantastic job. Every character had a distinct and entirely appropriate voice, to the point where I forgot, at times, that I was listening to just one person reading the book.
As for the books themselves, I wasn't sure at first that I was going to enjoy them all that much. It took me a while to get into the first book, and I figured it was going to be a mediocre read that would sufficiently pass the time, but which I wouldn't end up loving. That changed maybe 1/3 of the way into the first book. I'm not entirely sure what made me change my mind, but all of a sudden, I was completely intrigued to find out what would happen next. I think the fact that the story starts off with all the main characters doing their own things and living their own separate lives is what made it difficult to get into. Once things starting connecting up, though, I was pulled in.
The further we got into the story, and the more we learned about the interrelationships with other "contemps" (the people who lived in and belonged to the past), I was sold. Particular favorites were the vicar, Mr. Good; Talbot, the ambulance driver in 1944; and of course, Sir Godfrey (my personal favorite character in the entire story). These people and their relationships with our main characters are what made the book good and not just another sci-fi novel about people travelling through time.
There were a few things that kept me from giving the book a 5-star rating, however. One was possibly due to the audiobook format: because every chapter starts off with a time and location, and it jumps around so much from 1940/1941 to 1944 to 2060, etc., it was sometimes difficult to follow and keep track of who was who and where we were in the chronological time stream. It would have perhaps been easier to follow in print format, since it would be easy enough to flip back to the beginning of a chapter and look. It was easier once we got further in the book, and I was able to remember who/where/when the various characters were. (view spoiler)[And it became infinitely easier to follow once I figured out Mary was Polly and Earnest was Michael, just at different points in their time stream. (hide spoiler)]
It felt a bit forced and overdramatic, at times, too. The characters drew conclusions that seemed a bit far-fetched and fatalistic (though I suppose living through a constant barrage of bombings every night would fray anyone's nerves, even if they weren't stranded in the past, so I suppose maybe that's okay.)
Overall, though, I was gripped with the story and in love with several of the characters. As I've said, Sir Godfrey may be one of my all-time favorite fictional characters ever. (view spoiler)[And while I understand that Polly had to end up with Colin, and that Sir Godfrey was 50 years her senior in 1941, so that even if she wasn't from the future, it would have never worked out... I still sort of hoped she'd end up with him instead. And I admit I got a little choked up during their parting scene in the theater, especially when Sir Godfrey called out to Colin, quoting Shakespeare one last time, telling him "I have given you you here a third of mine own life -- or that for which I live." (hide spoiler)]
Connie Willis may not be the best author ever, nor were these the greatest books ever written, but they definitely held my attention, wrenched my heart a time or two, and were a very enjoyable read.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
A little bit of history, a little bit of romance, a little bit of mystery, and a very little bit of the paranormal. It didn't seem to follow the base...moreA little bit of history, a little bit of romance, a little bit of mystery, and a very little bit of the paranormal. It didn't seem to follow the base template of Kearsley's other novels, which made for a refreshing change. It wasn't quite as gripping as her other stories, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. (less)
Oh, I liked this. Not at all realistic, and a bit schmaltzy at times, but it was the perfect light read for me right now. It had everything -- romance...moreOh, I liked this. Not at all realistic, and a bit schmaltzy at times, but it was the perfect light read for me right now. It had everything -- romance, interesting, likeable characters, mystery, time travel...
The audio version was great. January LaVoy did an excellent job with all the different characters' voices, and her speech was natural and easy to listen to. Definitely one of those audiobooks where you forget you're listening to someone narrate a story and just fall into the plot.(less)